This year, my weekend is packed to the brim with activities, from egg hunts to a seder-style dinner tonight at church. But what I'm most looking forward to is a concert linked not so much to Easter per se as to the love it represents--and which some friends of ours are living out in the most amazing way. As I sat here debating, I realized I wanted to introduce you to Todd and Erin and their kids. We belong to the same home school group, and this past year have been attending a small bible study with them and two other families with small kids, so we've been blessed to get to know them. I realize most of you are too far to come to the concert, but these folks could use your prayers! So here's an article I wrote that appeared in the local paper the other day.
A local church is teaming up with a local family to help bring a brother and sister home to Frostburg from Ethiopia.
Frostburg residents Todd and Erin Vogtman are a couple with a lot of love to give. Married for thirteen years, they met in college when both were studying to be teachers. In addition to now being a primary school teacher, Todd is a talented singer and guitarist. Erin, a gifted artist, spent years as a public school teacher as well and now home schools their four biological children.
Many see this family with four kids already and wonder at their interest in adoption—especially international adoption. But for Todd and Erin, it isn’t a matter of simply wanting more children, it’s a matter of wanting to improve the lives of children who otherwise would have nothing. “We believe that those who have much, hold much responsibility to give. And just living in this country puts us as some of the most privileged people in the world,” Erin says on her blog, One Sought Me. “Parenting is such a fun adventure full of laughing and learning. We know firsthand how fast time flies when watching kids grow and how precious our time is as parents to our interesting and unique kiddos.”
Though the Vogtmans have immense respect for those who work in the foster care system of our country, they could not escape the realization that even those who have the least in America are so often richer than the majority of the people in third world countries. And while every orphan is in need of love and protection, those born in underprivileged nations have virtually no chance for betterment aside from what comes in from other nations. These are children who could very well starve and die before reaching adulthood if no one feels the call to step in. Todd, Erin, and their kids felt that call.
But the Vogtmans discovered as they began research into international adoption that it’s a difficult path, especially when a family already has four biological children. Their choices on where they could apply soon dwindled down to a few, and they eventually settled on Ethiopia. They have at this point been approved for adoption and hope to have their new brother and sister with them by the end of 2013.
Adoption, however, is a costly calling, and so area businesses and churches are teaming up with the Vogtmans on their loving mission and sharing in the task of fund-raising. And what better way than to draw on the talents the family already has? With that thought in mind, Full Gospel SDB Church, located on Hazen Rd, invited Todd to perform at their monthly Saturday Night Alive program. Admission is free, but a freewill offering will be taken up, all proceeds to go to the Vogtman adoption.
For those of you online and too far away to come support this amazing family, I do invite you to check out Erin's blog, One Sought Me. If you feel so led, there's a donation button in the right corner. Every little bit helps!